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Thoughts from 36,000 feet

Thoughts from 36,000 feet

March 08, 2019

A few weeks ago I was flying cross-country. With taxi time, flight time, more taxi time, you've got about 7 hours to kill. With this in mind, I started saving all the Outlook and Projections articles for 2019, that I had received from different companies in the profession. I read them on the plane with the hope of garnishing some insight to what's going to happen in 2019 and beyond. Lo and behold it reminds me of the famous George Bernard Shaw comment. The late Irish playwright once said "if you laid all the economist's in the world end to end they would never reach conclusion." Funny? Indeed. Painfully truthful though. I almost found it disturbing the difference from company to company and their internal Economists and Certified Financial Analysts and their opinions on how 2019 would go. Some predicted the strong start which we have had. Others predicted a slow start and a strong finish. Some predict financial ruin, others unprecedented prosperity. Many predict International will lead. Some predict the US will lead. Some love small-caps. Some hate them. No wonder retail investors are overwhelmed!!! Regardless of the variation in those opinions, I still enjoy reading these commentaries as it gives me insight into the things that you're concerned about and are driving the Fear Factor. Then the pilot broke in with an update. I started to think..... having a financial plan, or goal driven strategy is a lot like a flight. You pick the destination. The plane is built to get you off the ground and moving in the right direction much like the plan. The pilot or your advisor gets you there safely, possibly a little early or a little late. And there may be some bumps, some gate delays or weather issues. But in 10 years you will remember the vacation or the trip, not how long the Customs line at Heathrow was. The financial news we hear every day is like the turbulence, or luggage belt. It’s part of the process. It is annoying, yes. That is why the Advisor to Advisors, Carl Richards, penned this simple sketch to graph how we benefit by tuning out the financial hype.(As seen above)

I’m not suggesting Financial News ignorance, but rather that we do not need to live life by every gyration of Fed Speak, New Home Construction, and retail sales numbers, etc.

So back to all these gurus who write all these wonderful predictions for the people on my side of the desk ....In the end it isn't really about Market sectors or styles. It's about matching your strategy to your individual goals. I will end this with a Peter Lynch quote. The former Fidelity genius once said “If I could just predict the change in direction of interest rates accurately three straight times I'd be a rich man.” Lynch was humble enough to know how hard that is to predict three straight times. As I cruise into my fourth decade of doing this I had another thought....that is I can't remember an election year or a political event that didn't Inspire in end-of-life as we as We Know It feeling among someone. So I would probably try to avoid the news if it just gets you into a lather and speak to that trusted Financial person that can guide you through the turbulence and get you to the gate on the other side at your destination.

Have a great “trip” and I look forward to speaking with you soon. John

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